In mid July 2010, a little band was formed on the "X Factor" in the UK. You might know them - they placed third on the show but took the world by storm faster than you could say their name - One Direction. One Direction consisted of five members from England and Ireland. Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik all auditioned as solo artists on the X Factor, but they were formed into a band by Simon Cowell... the rest is "History."
However, while this band was taking the world by storm and stealing the hearts of girls across the UK, I was here in the U.S. minding my own business and completely in love with Big Time Rush.
I was quite oblivious to who One Direction even was until they became super popular and played on the radio here in America. At that point in their career, I decided I was never going to like them and that I was going to be a Big Time Rush fan for life.... until they went on hiatus, and I bought One Direction's first studio album "Up All Night." It all went downhill from there.
I played that CD in the car on the way to soccer practice with my mom over and over again, probably driving her crazy; I sang the songs in the shower with very incorrect lyrics because I was twelve and didn't pick up on all of the meanings; I harbored a secret love for this band that I told no one about because I thought it was embarrassing. Actually, it was really common to be made fun of for liking One Direction or any boy band, which I think is weird because music is music, people, even if it's made by pretty European boys!
Anyways, somewhere around mid 2013, I had zero clue about the second studio album they had released, titled "Take Me Home." I was just living off of listening to their first album when I wanted to. I was in my 7th grade science class when I saw a girl who I had met the year before but didn't know too well. I learned that she really liked One Direction, like most of the music she listened to was One Direction, and she had a very large and slightly frightening poster of Harry Styles in her room. (No joke, this poster would literally freak me out sometimes when we'd have sleepovers. I'd wake up in the middle of the night, and it was just staring at you.) Anyways, we became friends, and one day she let me listen to more of One Direction's music. I was HOOKED.
I adopted Niall as my favorite member, which he still is today, and I officially became obsessed with One Direction.
I hung out with her at her brother's birthday party and our "DJ playlist" was essentially all One Direction. We did One Direction related things in the bounce house, such as reenacting stage jumps and the "Best Song Ever" music video.
She gave me my first One Direction posters, which are still on my wall. Best of all, though, she gave me someone to enjoy the music and the band with. I will never forget that our very first sleepover was during 1D Day, a seven and a half hour livestream of them doing some of the stupidest things ever, just to promote their new album "Midnight Memories," the day after they released the "Story of my Life" music video. (And just to set the record straight, Niall never unfroze Greg, rumor has it he's still frozen in time... if you know what I'm talking about, I'm sure I just pulled this joke from the depths of your memory). We would spend countless hours listening to their music, watching their music videos, watching videos relating to them, talking about them, and anything and everything imaginable involving them.
Two of our favorite things to do were redecorate each other's rooms and put up more One Direction merch while listening to their music and watching the One Direction movie. I have seen their movie "This Is Us" so many times that I can quote it while not looking. As the band grew, released more music, went on tour, and lost a band member, my best friend and I grew closer and closer and dubbed each other our best friends.
After they released their 5th studio album "Made in The A.M." and went on hiatus for eighteen months (Spoiler: it's been five years and counting), I took a look back on my now seven years of friendship with my best friend and how loving this band impacted me as a person.
While yes, it gave me something to obsess over and have as a distraction from the real world for a few years, it also gave me great music for any occasion. For example, if you're having a party, "Up All Night," "Midnight Memories," and "Act My Age" are perfect to listen to. If you're feeling empowered, you can listen to "Girl Almighty" or "Little Black Dress." If you're sad, a few of my favorites to listen to are "Love You Goodbye" and "Fool's Gold." And if you just want to jump around and dance, you can just blast any of their songs.
In all honesty, the lyrics from Harry's song "Cherry" from his second studio album "Fine Line" really describe my love for this band:
"There's a piece of you in how I dress..."
This is very true because some of the ways I dress is based on how they used to dress. I roll my jeans and wear low cut vans just like Louis, and I even dyed the ends of my hair purple like Niall.
Most importantly, though, this band gave me my best friend. Being a Directioner isn't just about the music and the band members, it's about the lifelong friendship it helped me create and the best friend that I made along the way.
If I wouldn't have decided to be a fan of them and love all of their music, we wouldn't have become such great friends, basically sisters. In a way, they gifted me by bringing me to my best friend. Music can grow old and become unpopular, but the memories we've made together and the bond that we have will last a lifetime. And that's the greatest thing that I could've ever asked for but never expected when I decided to become a One Direction fan.